Marcus Aurelius may have lived thousands of years ago but he do have plenty of understanding what distractions mean. Those temptation over things that pull us away from the things that truly matter.
“Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than what causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet. What thoughts now occupy my mind? Is it not fear, suspicion, desire, or something like that?” – Marcus AureliusThe Daily Stoic
I made a video about “Is social media making us narcissistic?” isn’t just addressing about how social media divert the reality into a trend that excites us and just conspiracies that scare us instead. My major took away was bigger than that. It helps me to build a better relationship between the addictive technology and my mental peacefulness. I still dig into endless scrolling, making quick judgement here and there but what really important here is having that awareness to make a small progress to slowly change myself. It takes practice. Multiple times of practices.
The social media detoxing challenge is a real thing. If you used to not able to live a day without opening your social media (ie. Instagram is a thing), you will feel the heavy urge to grab your phone and only realising 3 hours later your mind are fully loaded with other people’s reels or world conspiracies or even maybe you have added items to your shopping cart ready to be paid! Some of the days, I even felt like I am less worth than the person I see in the feed, comparing my life to theirs (While I don’t even know who they are in person!). I was in that state before. Social media detoxing was the best practice I have made ever by far, it has brought me back to my reading habits, writing habits, getting myself on the yoga mat and the best part is, being more careful in consuming and processing the bite-size information that I read in the square post on Instagram or any other social media platforms.
It is not an overnight work that today you decided to uninstall your instagram, the next day you re-install it back scrolling and consuming it in a total different way! Let’s be real, you can’t even loose that belly fat within an overnight workout right? Everything takes time. Start slow. One step at a time. How I first did the detoxing was by uninstalled the glorious Instagram app for a week and rewarded myself back into the space on day 8. Then I stretch the duration to weeks and that was when I realised, things started to change. I had more time to myself, in the morning especially and like a domino effect, I get to do more stuffs, one after another and more and more till I return to bed without even bother that I have not seen people’s reels for a month.
Not having access to the social media doesn’t mean that I shut all the outside world development and news. Because I know I still need to know what’s the update with the Covid-19 cases across the country, economy status and other world issues. Because the purpose is to read the news,I googled to the news page just to read what I really need to know. Bam, I am updated and still connected with the important stuffs.
Now, how do I even know the website I am reading is not distracting and only delivering legit info? I ask myself this, which is more distracting and ridiculous? Consuming a bite-size info from an unsure instagram account with a thousand of followers and someone I know who have process the original news into their own perception OR first read it from the established journalist pages by myself, processing the info and making my own judgement with that information versus what others have said about it. I did that. Boom. I learned the safety measure to prevent exposure towards Covid-19 and the importance of lockdown. Not confused and blindly follow the trend of some other peoples’ summary of “Preventing Covid-19 with a hot water or mouth wash liquid” while another person posted “Going for holiday but with SOPs”. I know exactly what I understand, what I needed to understand and bravely learn to build my own stands on what really matters.
The conclusion here is, take time with yourself in noticing what is distracting you from your priorities, build awareness around what triggers the distraction, and practice to make a change about it.